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WEIRDER STUFF
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Weirder Stuff - Session IV - CHASING RAINBOWS

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WEIRDER STUFF SESSION IV - A

CHASING RAINBOWS

Monday, Monday, so good to me

Monday mornin', it was all I hoped it would be

Oh Monday mornin', Monday mornin' couldn't guarantee

That Monday evenin' you would still be here with me

Monday, Monday, can't trust that day

Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way

Oh Monday mornin' you gave me no warnin' of what was to be

Oh Monday, Monday, how could you leave and not take me

Every other day, every other day

Every other day of the week is fine, yeah

But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes

A-you can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday, Monday, so good to me

Monday mornin', it was all I hoped it would be

But Monday mornin', Monday mornin' couldn't guarantee

That Monday evenin' you would still be here with me

Every other day, every other day

Every other day of the week is fine, yeah

But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes

A-you can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday, Monday, can't trust that day

Monday, Monday, it just turns out that way

Oh Monday, Monday, won't go away

Monday, Monday, it's here to stay

Oh Monday, Monday

Oh Monday, Monday

The Mamas & The Papas - Monday Monday

Songwriters: John Edmund Andrew Phillips

 

The halls were mostly empty when Jason made his way to the same bathroom where Courtney and he had shared their moment only three days ago. He slipped inside and stopped taking a good long look at the sink, which was not broken, and his senses told him that the pipes also were not damaged. More importantly there was no evidence that any of it had even happened. He strode to the sink in question and examined it with all his senses both tactile, visual, and psi. as far as he could tell it was the same sink, he had broken Friday, shattered it actually.

The door swung open with a bang and three boys, freshmen, came into the bathroom laughing and cutting up they stopped when they saw who was in there with them and quietly went to the urinals to do their business. Jason left the bathroom and stopped in the middle of the hall, it was filling fast with students, he glanced at his watch it was still early not quite 7:30…

The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end as a series of goose bumps traveled up and down his arms. He never got goose bumps. Jason looked up from his watch and glanced up and down the hall seeing nothing unusual, nothing alarming, then he saw her.

All the way at the far end of the hall just inside the entrance a blond woman, she had just entered the building the door behind her still swinging shut. She was looking at him across all that space. The hall seemed to narrow and compress all the other kids an the few teachers seemed to be pushed out of Jason's frame of vision and the distance between them seemed to shrink until he could see her as clearly as if they stood face to face her looking down at him from above a serious look on her face almost a scowl but that was just a memory.

Jason’s mother smiled, turned away and walked into the school office.

 

Sean looked at his jeep as Sara and he walked toward the shop office, he had never felt so proud of a thing before especially not a thing he hadn’t made, but the jeep just made him beam. He had picked up Sara to give her a ride to school, this morning, she was going to do some maintenance and go over the vehicle with more care to see what needed to be done sooner than later. Sara had suggested the school shop, which would give her access to some more modern equipment and wouldn’t cost any more than her dads shop since the school got a deep discount on parts and there was a flat service fee instead of labor. It was also, Sara had said good for her grades and, if she found something she was unsure of, she could go and get help from Mr. Bishop.

Sara stood by while Sean filled out the forms authorizing the school to work on his vehicle and use it for teaching purposes. “Don’t worry Mr. Cassidy, we will take very good care of your vehicle. Trust me, Sara here is the best student I’ve had in these bays since her dad went school here.” Mr Bishop smiled at Sara who looked at her feet not liking the praise. Sean went to hand the keys to the teacher who just nodded for him to give them to Sara.

As they made their way out of the shop office, he passed the keys to Sara. “I’ll pull it inside after breakfast. I want to change the oil and lube it up. Then put it on the computer and see if there’s anything wrong there. But right now, I’m hungry, let’s go eat,” said the muscle girl.

 

 

Clara tugged her blouse down smoothing the imagined wrinkles, she still wasn’t used to wearing a uniform and while she didn’t have to wear it all day, she did have to wear it while performing her duties,

“Atten…. shun!”  her voice surprised her it was a sharp and crisp and the four other ROTC students snapped to attention just as they had been taught. Today was the first day the ROTC would be assuming one of its new daily duties, that of raising the flag in front of the school.

“Forward…. march!”

 The Honor guard led by Clara, under the watchful eye of Staff Sargent Maureen Doyle, march around the corner of the school there was a small crowd. How they had heard about this Clara didn’t know there had been no announcement, but still there they were. Clara saw Lona out of the corner of her eye so at least there was one encouraging face. The rest were mostly curious but there was Courtney and her hag squad, and they were making faces, all smirks and whispering, all except Courtney herself whose face was a mask. For just an instant Courtney and Clara made eye contact and Clara almost made a misstep but she cut her eyes down to get back instep and when she looked back up Courtney was halfway up the steps to the school entrance the hags squad racing to keep up.

 

Cade parked his Jeep in his usual spot and just sat there with the motor idling. Haruka had sensed his mood and been quiet during the drive and had hopped out with a quick “See you later,” then she was gone. Cade had gotten very used to driving to school with Cora, even before they had started dating, now he was going to have to get used to driving with just his sister.

He looked up when Chet, Will Beckett, and a couple of other football players walked by the jeep. They were laughing and joking and still riding high on Friday nights win. As they passed Chet looked through his windshield and straight at Cade his smile vanished, and Cade could almost feel the hate pouring off the boy. Cade shook his head to clear it and looked again. The boys were just past the front of the Jeep and Chet wasn’t even looking his way none of them were.

Bang!

Cade jumped again and looked at the passenger side of his jeep where Charlie had just hit the door with the flat of his hand, a huge grin on his face and his friend Kyle standing behind him  shaking his head.

“You going to sit in there all day, “ Charlie asked?

 

Cass parked her bike just as the ROTC honor Guard was starting to raise the flag and she whipped out her phone to at least try to get some pics. She zoomed in on Clara and mutter “Wow looks good in a uniform.”

“Who does?”

Cass spun around at the voice wondering how anyone had snuck up on her and stared into the smiling face of one of her oldest friends and someone she hadn’t talked to in ages it seemed.

“Beth! Wow, how are you?”

“I’m good, You?”

“Good,” Cass was aware of an awkwardness then Beth stepped closer.

“Do you want to get some breakfast?” She asked Cass with hope in her voice.

 

 

Lilly slowed to a trot as she finished the lap, she had arrived early today to run laps and think. She had a lot to think about but in the end had just gone through her routine morning exercise regimen and hadn’t really thought about anything.

She notices Lori and Lacy Heath coming onto the track neither were in running gear. Lilly stopped and waited for the girls to get close before greeting them.

“Hey Lilly, great game Friday.”

The three girls made small talk for a minute or two, but Lilly could tell that some thing was on their minds. “So what’s up guys,” she asked

“Oh nothing really,” began Lacy only to be cut off by Lori. “Is there something going on between you and Jason Bannon?”

 

 

Spoiler

This is the main Session IV thread. I will be adding a second Thread later today

 

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He froze, a sudden wild surge of mostly-dormant feelings causing his consciousness to go into a flat spin.  For the students milling in the halls the lanky teen who was the subject of so much gossip stayed motionless for only a few moments, whereas he was elsewhere...

"...look at me like that, Jason!  I can't do this."  She set the suitcase on the bed and started packing clothes into it from his closet, muttering.  "Bad enough when I thought you might be autistic.  Then your damn father goes and gets himself locked up for his ethical concerns..."  She looked up to see him standing in the bedroom doorway, pale eyes large in his young features as they watched her.  His eyes were wet, but he wasn't crying, and that somehow made this harder.  No tears, no snot, just clear comprehension that he was being abandoned by the one person who never should do such a thing, and a faint evidence of pain in his gaze. 

"I said don't look at me like that!"  she snapped, trying to push aside the nagging doubts and turning away before her own tears could flow.  "Come and pack your things."

..and the Now snapped back, Jason's mind reasserting it's control as he began walking towards the school office, towards where his mother- Towards where Kaitlin had disappeared, his thoughts racing with their usual quicksilver clarity.  She had smiled, and it hadn't been a mean or malicious or smug smile.  It had been pleased, appreciative.  Like she'd been happy to lay eyes on him.

He did not hate her, not as normal people would define the term.  Hate required chemical activity in the same portion of the brain that governed other social bonding reactions.  Nor was he, at the moment, angry with her.  His default state of mind when considering his mother was quiet contempt for her weakness and vestigial pain/resentment, a phantom ache.  Stronger than those now was curiosity.  What was she doing here?  Because it sure as hell was no coincidence.  He suspected Cook - but to what purpose?  To emotionally unsettle him was a fools task - though Cook might not realized that yet.

Do not assume.  Work on the presumption that Cook might know his star pupil was a psychopath.  What then?  It would have to be societal or material pressure.  She had abdicated her rights to maternal custody years ago, so it was unlikely to say the least that she could be trying to take custody of him now.  Besides, he could choose which parent to live with at his current age - unless Cook took steps to discredit his father and further ruin his life... At which point Jason would consider himself to be at war with Cook's project.  Surely Cook would have considered that, if he knew Jason's true nature, which meant that the question looped back around again - cui bono.  Who benefited from reintroducing his mother into his life?

"Shit." he muttered under his breath, a rare expression of frustration as he fixed a bland look on his face and entered the school admin office.  "Hiya Mrs Meyers." he said to the administrator currently manning the desk, glancing at the blonde woman currently at the counter who seemed to be writing something down.

"Jason.  How many times to I have to tell you to call me Nora?"  the coach's wife, a kindly woman with the patience of a saint, smiled at him.    

"At least once more."  he deadpanned, then smiled faintly back.  "I need to reschedule with the school counselor about the Medical Prep class?  Friday was kind of a bear."

The gorgeous blonde, who glanced at Jason with that same appreciative smile but no indication of recognition, let her eyes rove down and then back up drinking in his matured beyond his years physique. She was checking him out.

Any other teen would have freaked out at A: not being recognised by their own mother and B: then being checked out by her.  Fortunately, Jason had already come as close as he could to freaking out back in the hallway and so met the blonde woman's eyes with nothing more than a faint polite smile and an unwavering gaze, as if she were a stranger who had been caught checking out a youth more than half her age.

"There, you're all set for study hall."  Nora Meyers said, printing off a slip and passing it to Jason, who smiled back at her as he tucked it away.

"Thanks, Mrs Meyers."  His smile turned slightly teasing, causing her to smile back.

"Why, you're welcome, Mr Bannon." she said with mock-formality as Jase turned to go, letting his eyes once more pass over the blonde woman who was the spitting image of his mom.

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7 hours ago, WS ST said:

Lilly slowed to a trot as she finished the lap, she had arrived early today to run laps and think. She had a lot to think about but in the end had just gone through her routine morning exercise regimen and hadn’t really thought about anything.

She notices Lori and Lacy Heath coming onto the track neither were in running gear. Lilly stopped and waited for the girls to get close before greeting them.

“Hey Lilly, great game Friday.”

The three girls made small talk for a minute or two, but Lilly could tell that some thing was on their minds. “So what’s up guys,” she asked

“Oh nothing really,” began Lacy only to be cut off by Lori. “Is there something going on between you and Jason Bannon?”

Shelly High - Track

Lilly blinked, clearly surprised and even slightly confused by the question. She had only seen him sparingly over the summer, and since school hard started, they had barely even been around each other with him missing most of Friday. He had even left Bunnee's on Friday night right after she had arrived. If anything, Marissa had been far more chummy and close to him at school, and when her and her bother often hanging out at the farm over the summer..

"Huh? Jason Bannon me and me? Why the hell would you ask that?" she asked, still confused as she tried to get a read on her friends and why they were even asking such a question. 

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Cora had been a big part of his life since she came into it, and to be honest he was already missing her presence.  Still Life would go on for both of them.   he'd been fixed on watching Chet's almost demonic hateful stare, and then it was gone as if it had never happened.  When Charlie banged on his jeep, he turned and was about to lay into him, but stopped himself.  Cade recognized Kyle, and smiled at the two of them.  "nah I'm good, just getting used to having quieter mornings than before."  He got out of the Jeep and locked it after grabbing his backpack and coming round to meet with the two of them.  

"So how are the two of you this morning?"

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"We're fine." Charlie said, knowing how Cade had been in the dumps over Cora leaving. "Come on. We've got class." Kyle nodded. "I heard about Cora. It sucks dude, I know. But nothing you can do. Maybe you should ask-"

"No." Charlie interrupted. Somewhere along the line he'd let slip that Lona had been crushing on Cade, something which was not necessarily true any more, but Kyle had become convinced they would be a great couple. Not that Kyle had anything against Cora, but it had been an aberration in his worldview of the great high school tapestry of couples. Charlie didn't want to be presumptuous, especially in matters of the heart.

"But!"

"Just drop it." Charlie groaned. Cade looked confused. Charlie shot him a 'don't ask' look. "Let's go."

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On 10/16/2019 at 11:19 AM, WS ST said:

“I’ll pull it inside after breakfast. I want to change the oil and lube it up. Then put it on the computer and see if there’s anything wrong there. But right now, I’m hungry, let’s go eat,” said the muscle girl.


"I could use a bite," Sean agreed.

There was an extra bounce in Sean's step as he walked briskly to keep up with the hungry, amazonian Sara on their way to the cafeteria. It was immeasurably satisfying and liberating being able to drive himself to school and about town in his own vehicle, and only a day after the purchase, the wonder hadn't come close to wearing off yet. Nor could the comments that he was overcompensating for his lack of masculinity or over abundance of feminine attributes ruin his mood when classmates had seen him drive up in his new vehicle - they weren't even completely wrong, he had to admit to himself, pragmatic reasons he had for choosing as he did aside. He'd been slightly hesitant at first to offer Little Bigfoot (as he'd begun to name his lifted Grand Cherokee Trailhawk) to the shop class to work on, but Mr. Bishop's clear confidence in Sara's capabilities, as well as his own experience with them at the auction had gone a long way in easing his worries.

As did his home-made drone he'd left in the back that he'd kept a link to. He might might not be able to catch much on video, but it had audio too.

If it would help Sara with her grade, bonus. Sean couldn't thank Sara enough for her help in getting his vehicle in the first place.

He was wearing a pair of black cargo pants with actually useful pockets - though the hip pockets were still too shallow for his phone - and an open flannel shirt over a faded red Nuka-Cola t-shirt that was snug across his chest. Perhaps it was having a vehicle of his own, as well as growing proficiency with having fucking psionic powers, but Sean was far less self-conscious about his appearance and the snide, contemptuous, or mocking comments or glances it garnered. Indeed, with his lack of concern, it seemed he actually drew less overt attention or derision, fewer people seemed to feel the need to pick on him about.

There might be more about one being victimized for acting like a victim than Sean had been willing to admit.

Or maybe it was the flat expression on the hulking girl at his side.

It was an effort not just to peek into anyone's phone that his curiosity turned his interest on. With his senses attuned to the right frequencies, every phone and tablet and the transmissions flying about seemed to him to be jumping up and waving their arms, yelling 'Look at me! Look at me!'. He couldn't help but look at some of the transmissions that appeared to be practically zipping right across in front of him. Most were banal stuff, the rare bit salacious. He didn't catch anything about him or the Fellowship off-hand, and was kind of surprised he felt surprised about that.

Sean and Sara walked into the cafeteria and got in line to get breakfast. Sean just got a blueberry muffin and an orange and an orange juice.

"Get your tits back in line with the rest of you, Cassidy," one boy snarked, sharing a chuckle with his friends.

Sean snorted and rolled his eyes, setting his bottle of orange back and picking up a carton of milk instead and giving it a shake at the boy. "Thanks for keeping an eye on them, Randall. They're growing girls and always wondering off like that if I don't leash them down."

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Cass spun around at the voice wondering how anyone had snuck up on her and stared into the smiling face of one of her oldest friends and someone she hadn’t talked to in ages it seemed.

“Beth! Wow, how are you?”

“I’m good, You?”

“Good,” Cass was aware of an awkwardness then Beth stepped closer.

“Do you want to get some breakfast?” She asked Cass with hope in her voice.

 

Cassandra broke into a grin and with a last glance at the ROTC kids trotting by, put away her phone and said, "Breakfast sounds amazing, lets do it."

As they headed back towards the cafeteria, she tried to make some conversation.

"So...how's the year been going for you so far?" Then she realized her mistake, because that question was going to get batted right back at her, she knew, and what was she going to say?

Well, I found out that me and a few other kids have magic powers, there's some kind of evil presence haunting Shelly, and most unbelievably of all, Devin can be kind of okay when he tries. Oh, but balancing all that crazy out is that Jase Bannon is literally a psychopath.

Trying to get ahead of the issue, Cassie quickly added, "I've been weirdly busy so far? A couple of maybe-biggish stories in the works, plus the new shenanigans at the prison and everything. And...I'm trying to be more social this year, you know? Went to a party, met some decent people. It was fun."

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BANNON

Kaitlin Forster's demeanor changed ever so slightly as she had been ogling the boy rather unprofessionally, after all he was an incredibly handsome young man, and she hadn't really known that he was a student, after all he could have been a young athletics teacher, they were often young men right out of collage.. but never-mind. No her demeanor had change when Mrs Myers had said the boys name. And solidified when she said his last name.

Jason gave her one last look as he departed the office and saw not the appreciative look he thought she had had earlier but one of cold disapproval. He couldn't help but glance back again as he felt her eyes on him following him out of the office as the frosted glass door swung closed blocking their views.

He looked forward and came to a stop he was being braced by three seniors right here outside of the office. Curtis Denicott, Mark Belcher, and Tammy Keller. Customers of his and not looking all too pleased.

Curtis slammed a bag into Jason's chest, “What the fuck Bannon, I paid good money for this shit.”

Lilly

“Lori, was helping her dad clear some fence line and saw your truck heading down Grainger road...” Lacy began. “And the only thing down that way is the old Wilson farm, which is where the Bannon's, Jason, live,” finished Lori. “Saw it both Saturday and Sunday. I mean I didn't see you but it sure looked like your truck and that music blaring, that was you.”

Lacy squealed and grabbed Lilly's arm, “So is Lilly Pryor the reason that the ogre Bannon is changing his mean weird ways?”

 

Charlie and Cade

Cade looked back and forth between the other two boys, “Maybe should ask...what?”

 

Sean and Sara

Randall turned red and his friends laughed some more. Sean and Sara took their trays and headed toward the table where Sean usually sat. None of the rest of the Fellowship had shown up yet as the two settled down and arranged their breakfast, Sara glanced sideways at Sean, “You like that don't you? The attention,” she said.

 

Cass

 

Beth had opened her mouth to speak but was cutoff and shut it again. This is crazy she thought, then she said, “Yeah I heard about the party, and your new friends. Also that you and skatehead brokeup.” Beth looked away her vision getting blurry with tears she refused to cry.

“Been a pretty lonely year so far for me.”

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His mother's look of recognition and cold disapproval had been almost satisfying, causing him to smile slightly as he looked back to meet her eyes-

And then, right outside the fucking school office, he was accosted.  Presumably the three of them hadn't received the promised goods - which was a major concern to him, as he prided himself on honoring his word.  Their tone, more to the point, spoke of annoyance, which at least had some justification if this wasn't a scam.  More immediately concerning was the fact that they were taking it up with him in spitting distance of the fucking Principal.

He had rules.  No product changing hands directly, no transactions in person (Marissa having been his only exception until the night of the party).  People left notes in dead-drops with the cash, he checked them and filled the orders.  People could alert him that they had placed an order in person, but that was it.  No phone calls, no haggling.  Other than the initial setup, no customer ever again did business face to face with him on school grounds.  Off school grounds either, for the most part.  Minor leeway was given to good customers, but still - cash and dope both were exchanged through the dead-drops.  To have a bag of weed thrust at him like this was completely unacceptable.

"I don't know what you're talking about." he replied in a calm, low tone, pushing the bag back at Curtis whilst meeting the senior's eye.  Not here, you simple-minded fuck-wit.  He stepped closer, his gaze level, and murmured "If you have a problem with your dealer, I'm sure there are better ways you can get hold of him."  He glanced at Tammy and Mark meaningfully, then moved to slip past them.

Only for Curtis to grab his arm, Mark moving to block his path.  Tammy backed up a little as she sensed the tension rise.  Jason's cold gaze went down to the beefy hand on his arm, then up to the equally bovine expression of anger on Curtis's face.

"We're not done."  Mark declared.

"I disagree."  Jason said, his gaze still on Curtis, his voice still a calm and low murmur.  "If there was a problem, I will set it straight.  You will get either what you paid for, or a refund.  Someone has tampered with my drop - I don't cheat customers."  He fought for control of himself as Curtis kept a restraining hand on his arm. He could light the boy up like a pork roast...  "And once that is set right, you two are cut off."

"The fuck we are."  Curtis snorted.  Bannon's voice went from calm to cold, his eyes becoming glacial.

"You brought that shit here and started sounding off within twenty feet of the school office, you remedial ass-clown.  That was strike one.  You ignored my not-so-subtle hint to address this later, in private.  Strike two.  And you laid hands on me, you cranially-deficient shit-tick.  Strike three.  All in the space of five fucking minutes."  The hiss of his voice was liquid nitrogen.  "You can find another dealer - one who caters to the crayon-eating crowd.  Now let go of me before I really get angry."

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59 minutes ago, WS ST said:

Lilly

“Lori, was helping her dad clear some fence line and saw your truck heading down Grainger road...” Lacy began. “And the only thing down that way is the old Wilson farm, which is where the Bannon's, Jason, live,” finished Lori. “Saw it both Saturday and Sunday. I mean I didn't see you but it sure looked like your truck and that music blaring, that was you.”

Lacy squealed and grabbed Lilly's arm, “So is Lilly Pryor the reason that the ogre Bannon is changing his mean weird ways?”

Lilly laughed at the suggestion and shook her head with a smile still lingering on her face.

"Ohh.. Okay. Well then what you didn't see then was that my truck full of people each day. Avalon, Sean, Laurie, Charlie... And then on Sunday you missed Cade and Cora in his jeep and Sean, Autumn and Sara in his jeep." Lilly explained simply, chuckling as she highlighted how dangerous it can be to jump to conclusions with scat information.

"We're all friends and play D&D together and hang out and stuff." she said plainly before adding, "You guys should try it some time. it's a lot of fun and I could probably get you invited to play."

Lilly shrugged. 

"And sorry to burst your bubble or whatever, but no, Jason and Bannon and I are not together." she clearly stated, shaking her head a little.

Lilly then rested her hands on her hips and tilting her head to the side with a wry, lopsided 'really?' smile as she asked,

"And seriously, if he and I were together, don't you think I'd have told you guys?"

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“Been a pretty lonely year so far for me.”

Cassandra looked at Beth again, noting the glisten in her eyes, and her heart felt like something invisible was squeezing it. Beth was usually joking around and...okay maybe there was always a bit of a cynical edge to the joking, but she was quick to laugh. For her to just say something like that implied that it had been pretty bad.

"Shit, Beth...I'm sorry," she said. "You know you can always call me or drop by, right? It's totally cool."

They grabbed a table and Cassie sat alongside Beth rather than across from her, just to try to reinforce the feeling of being there for her.

"Anyway, lets hang out more. Heck, want me to introduce you to everyone? A lot of them are into sci fi and gaming and stuff. Or we can just fart around like we always have."

Cass grinned and bumped shoulders with Beth.

"Just, don't be lonely, ok? It sucks."

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Lona had watched the color guard ceremony and waited for Clara after as she changed back into regular clothes. The two were headed to the cafeteria for breakfast, chatting about their ideas for Lona's YouTube channel when the sound of Curtis Denicott's voice drifted over from around the corner near the admin offices. "-fuck we are."

The two could hear Jason's voice next, though they couldn't make out the worlds. They could tell that he was pissed and the girls rounded the corner with some speed and a lot of concern. "Uh, guys?" Clara called out to the group. "What's going on?"

Glancing around, Lona noticed that many of the other students made a wide detour around the scene and none of them looked at the kids involved. There were even a few adults who, instead of intervening, followed the example of the kids and ignored it as if it weren't happening.

"Nothing is going on."  Jason said calmly, tugging his hand from Curtis's grasp abruptly, his cold gaze ominous especially to Clara and Lona, who knew what lay behind it.  "Simple confusion."

Curtis laughed, and when Jason looked back he noticed an unusual glaze in his eye, like maybe he was on something. "Man, the wicked Bannon has to be saved to two freaks, the girl who can't be anything but perfect, and the girl who can't decide if she’s a guy or a girl, but then a lot of your friends seem to have that problem."

"Well, at least-" Clara started into her usual deflection of insulting, but stopped at the look in his eyes. She hesitated and gave Lona a look, who just shook her head and motioned clandestinely back to the cafeteria. Clara held a hand out to her local friendly psychopath, swallowing hard as a wave of nausea washed over her. "Jason, c'mon. Breakfast is waiting. Curtis, go splash some water on your face and get it together. Class is going to start soon."

Jason met Curtis's gaze, noting the oddness there, and nodded slowly in answer to Clara's invitation.  He slid past the two male seniors without a word, but also without fully removing his attention from them - his kinetic senses aware of and mapping their motions in relation to his own as he fell into step with Clara and Avalon.

“Thank you,” Jase murmured to the girls as they made their way into the cafeteria and got in the breakfast line. 

Clara nodded. “What was that about?”

“He felt wrong,” Lona added, grabbing snack food for later more than breakfast for now. She wasn’t up to eating right after whatever that was.

"They seemed to think I had cheated them of paid-for product."  Jase didn't bother refuting it - his rep in that area was solid.  His brow furrowed slightly as he loaded his plate with pancakes, sausage and syrup.  "This means either they were lying or that someone has compromised my system.  Given the oddness, I'm tempted to claim a lie.  They sought to provoke me."  He scanned the cafeteria, seeing Cassie and... Beth - that was it - sitting at one table, and Sean and Sara sitting at another.

"Did you notice - no-one else got involved, or even stopped to watch."  he stated rather than asked.  "I think the Dark is saying 'hello'."

"Maybe," Clara said following Lona's example on food. "Maybe that's just how it operates? I mean, if people were responding appropriately to violence or provocation, then it would scale up like it does every 28 years. I wonder if it both pushes people to do awful and pushes those around them to let it happen."

Clara motioned to the table Sean and Sara were at; once they were seated she asked the pair, "Good morning. How are you guys doing?"

Jason sat down with a nod of greeting to Sara and Sean, green eyes catching Cassie's and, with a small smile, gesturing for her and Beth to join them.

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On 10/19/2019 at 10:34 AM, WS ST said:

“You like that don't you? The attention,” she said.

Sean opened his mouth to issue an instinctive denial, then closed with a snap. For a few moments, he focused intently on peeling his orange, then he looked up at Sara and sighed as he slowly peeled the slices of orange apart.

"Do you?" Sean asked in turn, gesturing at Sara's arms with an orange slice. Even at rest, her biceps bulged impressively. "Like the attention your muscles get? They're incredible, no mistaking, but I'm sure they aren't all positive."

"They aren't," Sara agreed with a shrug. "And I do, but I don't go out of my way denying what I'm accenting. And in some ways that seems to be what your doing. I'm not talking about your condition but the way you, well, dress. And then they way you act because of others responding to the way you dress."

"I don't... it's not..." Sean waffled a hand side-to-side in a bit-of-this-bit-of-that gesture. "It's complicated." He snorted wryly, and Sara couldn't help but notice it was a cute sound. "But what isn't, now, right?"

He tore the top off his muffin, pulled off a piece and popped in his mouth, chewing contemplatively for a moment, then took a deep breath before continuing. "I was seriously messed up when all... this started. I was thirteen when I was first seriously hit on by a guy, twice my age, staring at my chest. I wasn't showing anything, just wearing a loose Star Wars shirt. I could have retorted I was only thirteen, instead I shouted I was a boy, then he accused me of misleading him. My dad almost got into a fight. Then there were the comments about implants, regardless of how young I look. At the time, I thought it was my fault, I wore layers and layers, which didn't really hide the fact I had tits, just made me look chunky." Sara sensed the wash of remembered shame, embarrassment, and self-recrimination roll off Sean, low emotions that the Dark would feed off. "And I quickly got tired of trying to explain to strangers my condition, especially considering it's always a crap shoot how someone will take it."

Sean sighed in exasperation, then took another bite of muffin and washed it down with some milk. "Look, I'm not an idiot, I know what I look like. I don't fault people for thinking I'm a girl, or for people looking. I'd look if I saw a girl - or someone, I suppose - with a figure like mine, though I'd like to think I wouldn't be a crass as many, or as blatant. It's taken a long time and plenty of therapy to understand I can't control how others will react to me, but I can control how I feel about it and how I react to them. I used to be so ashamed and embarrassed about the attention and comments, and when people saw that it seemed to encourage them. Ignoring them, it helps sometimes, sometimes, it doesn't. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to respond more assertively."

He shrugged expressively. "I'm still figuring it out.... and figuring out how to dress. Other than bras, I was stubborn about wearing girl clothes, wanting to hold onto the self-image I had as a child. Guess what, guy clothes don't take boobs into account - lots of girl clothes don't either from what I've read," Sean added in a low mutter. "I've only just started buying some new clothes, don't have much, so making do mostly with what I still have, which after my last growth spurt..." He shrugged again as he looked down, spinning a slice of orange on the table with a slim finger. "Lots of stuff fits tighter than it did. But trying to hide feels like a step backward."

Sean's cheeks reddened as he glanced back up at Sara through a look of vibrant red hair. "It's... with everything that's happened, is happening, it seems so... small, juvenile to keep trying to convince myself that I hate how I look. Lately, I've looked in the mirror, and regardless of how I want think of myself, or what I want to consider myself, I can admit, to some degree, that I might actually like what I see. Sometimes at least. I might still hate how others react and comment about what they see, but that isn't on me. And I've had people in my life saying much the same for years, only I didn't want to hear it." He grinned self-deprecatingly. "Hell, Dr. Cook was one, from the first when we started going around looking for second opinions on my conditions. And who knows what that means, considering..." He waggled his fingers in a mystical manner. "... our voodoo."

Sean gave his head a shake, then gave Sara a wry grin. His cheeks were still red, but she could feel a sense of relief, some weight off his slender shoulders, at having admitted some of what he was feeling to someone else. "Okay, so that's was lot of words to say, how I look at myself is in flux, and I'm gonna be making mistakes and regrets along the way... And I need a shit-ton of new clothes after spending most of what I had saved up on my car and maybe some style advice."

On 10/19/2019 at 2:15 PM, Clara Lys Wright said:

Clara motioned to the table Sean and Sara were at; once they were seated she asked the pair, "Good morning. How are you guys doing?"

Sean glanced away for a second and blew out a breath, trying to get the red out of his cheeks. "It's been pretty good so far," Sean said, turning back to Clara, Lona, and Jase, and consuming the rest of his orange slices. He gave them an easy grin. "Still loving having my own vehicle, even if it still needs some work." He tilted his head at Sara. "And that work might help Sara score a higher mark in Shop class, and save me a few bucks. How 'bout you with you guys? We were there Sunday afternoon, but did we miss anything 'weird' while we were in Helena over the weekend?"

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Charlie had already put his hand over Kyle's mouth. "He's going to suggest you ask about the play I've decided on and then ask if you can be the lead role, because he thinks it would fit you perfectly. I disagree, sorry. I've put my foot down on the matter." Ironically, acting was involved, behind the polite, apologetic smile Charlie used to deter Cade further.

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Cade shrugged.   "It's cool man.  I know my limits.  You and Cora are the ones with talent on stage.   Come on let's go meet with the others, unless you've got something else to do this morning."   he smiled at Kyle.   "If you guys need a hand behind the scenes, I can probably help.  That's more my speed."

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Cafeteria

Cass saw Jason give her a little wave from where he was sitting across the intervening tables, He wanted them to join the rest of the fellowship.

“What I’d really like is for things to go back to the way they were … you know before.”

Cass snapped her attention back to Beth, who hadn’t seen the Jase wave as her back was to that table.

 

Cade, Charlie, and Kyle arrived at the Fellowship table, Kyle drawing a few looks as he took a seat. Everyone  knew him of course and he was generally liked but he had never taken part in the D&D game, which most of the core fellowship were a part off, and he certainly didn’t have  ‘The Shine’.

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The Track

Lori and Lacy looked at each other as they thought about what Lilly had said, then they nodded.

"Homecoming is coming up pretty fast Lills,' said Lacy, "since your not going out with Bannon, maybe you could put in a good word for Lori?"

Lori blushed and shrugged.

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Jason nodded to Kyle as Charlie's friend joined them - a gesture of polite acknowledgement.  The other boy was mildly nervous as he sat across and down aways from Bannon, something Jason had learned was the tell-tale of a person with a high degree of affective sensitivity - an empath, for want of a better term, like Charlie himself.  The Fellowship's thespian had been similarly on edge when they'd first gamed together, gradually learning to relax around the hard-to-read, vaguely predatory intensity of Jase, until they'd reached a point where they were (mostly) comfortable.

Though Charlie still didn't actively seek Jason out, or seek to confront him regarding various behaviours.  The memory of the steak knife gleaming as it turned towards him in the air at Bunnee's on Thursday night, plus the thought of Liam laying on a respirator to help him breathe was enough to dissuade all but the most concerned or curious.  And then Sunday's revelation had introduced a whole new level to the Fellowship's problem - how do you remonstrate with someone with not even a frame of reference for remorse, who didn't see a quantitative difference between hospitalising a creep and stepping on a roach?  Apparently Lona had, kind of.  So it could be done.  Food for thought...

Jason wolfed down his pancakes with commendable speed even for a teen boy, absently swiping a finger through the remnants of the syrup and licking it clean in a gesture that, although uncalculated, would have caused thoughtfulness behind many a female set of eyes that may have been turned his way.  Sliding his tray aside, he removed a pair of books from his satchel and began to read one, eyes flicking over and referring often to the other as he went.  The resident experts in Bannonology realised that, although he appeared absorbed in what he was doing, he didn't have his earphones on - this was tantamount to being sociable and open where their friendly neighbourhood psychopath was concerned.

Spoiler

Anyone curious enough to peek will notice that one book seems to be a novel written in Italian, the other seems to be a dictionary / phrasebook.

 

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Cassandra frowned a little.

"Before...what? Before my dad...?"

Before she could finish, Beth quickly nodded. Cassie took a breath and nodded.

"I know. It's weird though. Like...I wish it had never happened. I wish he was still here. But...I kinda don't wish I was still like I was then. When I started looking for dad, or what happened to him, I found something worth fighting for. Something that got me off my ass and really paying attention. And I...I'm glad I found that. I just wish it had been something else. Literally anything else."

She took a deep breath and let it out. "Phew. Okay. Well, we can't change the past, but we can keep up with the present. Beth, I would love to introduce you to everyone. Would you be okay with that?"

Her friend glanced over at the table that Cassandra had indicated and shrugged. "Sure, I guess."

"Don't worry," Cassie assured her, "we'll still have 'us' time too. Come on."

She picked up her tray and waited for Beth to follow suit before leading her over to the Fellowship's table.

"Hey guys. This is Beth, she's been my best friend practically since I first moved here. So everyone be nice to her, or savage editorials will be written. Fairly warned."

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11 hours ago, WS ST said:

The Track

Lori and Lacy looked at each other as they thought about what Lilly had said, then they nodded.

"Homecoming is coming up pretty fast Lills,' said Lacy, "since your not going out with Bannon, maybe you could put in a good word for Lori?"

Lori blushed and shrugged.

 

Shelly High - Track

Lilly blinked in surprise, her grin fading away as the question hit her out of left field. It was not even something she had considered, remembering that others did not know certain things about Jason that she did, and the fact that she had not told them about what he had said just a few mornings ago.

"The thing is... It's.. complicated." she said with a sigh as she walked over and picked up her towel from the bench to wipe herself down.

Lilly dragged the towel over the rather copious amount of exposed flesh of her amazonian form, though she noticed she really was not sweating to speak of. She had been running, even sprinting, though still being sure to hold herself to previous times rather then going full out, but found the exertion really minimal, the whole time knowing that she could push it significantly, even more so than she felt on Sunday.

'Huh.' she thought to herself, continuing to towel off as she spoke to her friends. 

"Or maybe it's not. I dunno. I mean, we game together and even hang out some, but it's always as a group, pretty much. It's not often just him and me are together. I think he might like me, or maybe he used to. I'm not so sure now." she said, not totally sure where they even stood.

"And to be honest, I really don't know what I'd say if he even asked me anyways. He's kinda... I dunno." she said with shrug and then tossed her towel back onto the bench and picked up her water bottle.

"I think Marissa is into him anyways. Like, didn't you see her of the first day of school all hanging off of him, walking with and sitting by him and joking with him? I mean, she looked pretty into him to me, but what the hell do I know? I haven't been asked out, or to a dance, since, like, the seventh grade, back on base in Germany." she said and took a drink of her water, popping the cap back on with a shrug.

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"Savage editorials?"  Jason asked mildly from where he sat reading his two books, his green eyes rising from the pages he'd been flipping at an almost indecent speed to study Cassie, a faint smile curling his lips that almost made her wish he wasn't - well, the 'p-word'.

"Scathingly savage."  she asserted firmly.  Jase's smile widened a little.

"That sounds like fun, but I'll be nice anyway."  he replied before he glanced at Beth, nodding in polite welcome..  "Hi, Beth."  His oddly unwavering gaze studied the 'new' face.  Of course he'd seen her around and knew her by sight, but now she was re-classified: friend of a friend.  Something that most people didn't even think about, the expansion of their social connections - but Jason did, for the very simple reason that without intellectual effort on his part, there would be no social connections.  Bethany was now slotted into the outer ring of his 'circle', as did Kyle, which came with certain privileges and few expectations.  She was pretty, with gentle-seeming eyes currently guarded as she returned his gaze hesitantly.  He smiled slightly, then dropped his attention back to his reading.

"Aaand that's the warm Jase welcome."  Charlie grinned.  "He obviously likes you."

"I've never seen him take to people so well."  Lona quipped as though describing a normally suspicious family pet, noting the faint smile that twitched at the corner of her friend's mouth, though he didn't glance up.

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Shelly High - Track

Lori and Lacy exchanged  guarded looks behind Lilly as she toweled off. Lori silently mouthed "Wow" to her cousin.

"Okay then guess not," said Lacy a bit subdued. Lori took her phone from her back pocket and checked the time.

"No big deal, If we hurry we can still grab a bite before class." She started off not waiting, Lacy was torn then started after Lori but looked back at Lilly, "You coming?"

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Cafeteria

Sean couldn't keep a quick frown crossing his lips when first Kyle, then Beth, joined them at the table with Charlie, Cade, and Cass. He understood they had friends outside of the Fellowship, but he'd wanted to know if there had been any more strange going on during the weekend. He gave Clara a one shoulder shrug. With Kyle and Beth there, the rest of them had to watch what they said, but it wasn't their fault. It was no one's fault, really. He replaced his frown with a slightly cautious smile and gave Kyle and Beth a small two-fingered waved.

"I'm always nice," Sean protested with exaggerated affront, if not complete honesty. "Pleased to meet you, Beth, any friend of Cass, yadda, yadda, " Sean said. He gave Kyle a nod. He had met Kyle before, when helping Charlie out two years ago, replacing a girl who had dropped out of a play at the last minute. "Kyle." Sean arched a dark red brow at Charlie. "You decide on which play drama club is doing this year, yet, Charlie?"

Sean tilted his head with idle curiosity to see what Jason was reading, then turned his attention back to the rest of the table. Cora was leaving, and bummed with her leaving, he wasn't sure if Cade was still going to be in the mood to game. With the Dark and all that it portended, he wasn't even sure about the rest of the Fellowship's interest in gaming. "You guys have any interests or hobbies you want to reveal, see if any of us share them?" Sean asked the newcomers. "Video games, movies, certain genres of novels? I might have room for another player or two in my D&D campaign, if either of you, or you, Cass, are interested."

 

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53 minutes ago, WS ST said:

Shelly High - Track

Lori and Lacy exchanged  guarded looks behind Lilly as she toweled off. Lori silently mouthed "Wow" to her cousin.

"Okay then guess not," said Lacy a bit subdued. Lori took her phone from her back pocket and checked the time.

"No big deal, If we hurry we can still grab a bite before class." She started off not waiting, Lacy was torn then started after Lori but looked back at Lilly, "You coming?"

Shelly High - Track

Lilly frowned at Lori's response and the abrupt shift in her mood. She was now clearly let down and in usual teenage fashion was 'acting' like she was't or that it was no big deal, though she lacked the acting chops of somebody like Marissa to really pull it off convincingly. 

"Sure. I need to change real quick though." she said to Lacy's offer as she grabbed her towel and threw it over her shoulder. With her water bottle in hand she easily caught up to the pair.

"Dude, I'm sorry. Don't be..." Lilly said said to Lori, her voice trailing off into a sigh.

Lori was her friend and she did not want to disappoint her, but she also did not want to see her hurt either. There were things that she knew about him, some of it shared in confidence, that she would not relay. She had known Jase for a couple of years, and he still said what he did the other morning and Lori would not have the benefit of a few years of friendship even if he did actually ask her to the dance. Maybe it would be different with Lori though. Maybe that lack of history would prove beneficial.

"You're my friend, and I don't want to see you get hurt. I mean, you see him all brooding and smoldering or whatever, but he's probably not who or what you think, and he's no project to be fixed either. But who knows though? Maybe you'd have a great time. I dunno." she said with a shrug.

"I do know that I'll do what I can for you with him though, even after the dance if you want too. He and I are not exactly hanging out alone and talking Homecoming though, but I'll see what I can do. Regardless though, even if he actually does ask me to the dance, I'll turn him down, and if possible, send him your way." she promised as her smile slowly returned.

"Hell, even if he asks me out I'll still turn him down. You guys are some of my best friends and are waaaay more important than some dance or boy." she said with a smile as she stepped between the pair, lifted her arms and rested them across their shoulders and gently steered them toward the girls locker room where she could change.

"Lemme change real quick and we can get our grub on." she said as she jogged into the locker room to change.

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Cade smiled at the surprising welcome from Jase towards first Kyle, then Beth.  As the others had already commented on it, he said nothing, and instead grinned at Sean's fishing attempt.   "Always fishing for new players, eh Sean?  Makes some of us long-time players abit jealous."   Of course he was teasing, and the look of surprise that briefly passed over Kyle's face at least made him chuckle.  "You play Dungeons and Dragons?"  

Cade was the most well-regarded male athlete at the school, so of course hearing that he engaged in nerdy hobbies was surprising.  Cade nodded.  "Yeah, I play, I have for years." He grinned at Sean.   "Sean's a great at running games."

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"After much review and debate with Marissa Jauntsen..." This drew eyebrows from Kyle and others. Mari the Mantis involving herself in the drama business? Charlie actually putting up with her that long? Charlie did a dramatic pause. "Labyrinth. So we'll probably be drawing in some of the elementary school students for this. I hate it say it, but she was right. This town really needs just good simple fun."

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"The old movie with David Bowie?  They made a play of that?"  Cade smiled even as he looked abit surprised.  "Learn something new everyday."

He looked to Kyle.  "Definitely standing by my comments from earlier."  That Charlie came to the decision after speaking with Marissa, well he sensed some ulterior motive, but hey, so long as they had fun with it.

 

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Across the cafeteria, Lona spotted the teacher she knew she was going to have to talk to sooner rather than later. “Hey, I’ll be right back,” she told her tablemates as she got to her feet. “I’ve got some bidness.”

Clara gave her a flat stare. “Lona, you live in Montana. You’re way too white to talk street.”

“Shut up,” Lona told her and leaned hard on her shoulder in joking reproval. 

“It’s true,” Clara said.

“Which makes it hurt even more,” Lona called over her shoulder as she sauntered toward the short form of Mr. Abraham. He was talking to some students, so she stopped in the socially appropriate place to signal she wanted to talk to him without trying to eavesdrop -- though she could totally hear Hanna Greenly sucking up in a vain attempt to be given the lead for the school play. Mr. Abraham nodded to Lona and started the careful process of extracting himself from the conversation. 

Five minutes later, he turned to her and said, “Good morning, Ms. Wilson! Are you hoping to do the independent study in music this year?”

“Noooo,” Lona said, though she wondered if she shouldn’t just accept the offer and continue doing her own thing. Since doing what she wanted wasn’t part of the plan, she said, “Actually, I wanted to talk to you about Band.”

An excited smile lit up his face. “Oh, that’s great!” He quickly collected himself. “Err, are you talking about joining Band?”

“Yes?” Lona said hesitantly. “I mean, I know most of the kids in it already have been in there for a long, long time, like most of their lives, and I only know the guitar--”

“Not a problem!” Mr. Abraham grinned and waved, as if his hands could dismiss all concerns. “You should have no problem picking something up, and we also provide the music for the school play, and your guitar skills will work great there.”

“Sure, okay,” Lona said, smiling. “So I’ll see you at practice?”

“Sure, and we’ll figure out what instrument you might want to play, maybe the sax or a clarinet?” Mr. Abraham all-but-bounced on his toes in excitement. “We’ll find a good fit for you, or work the guitar in. I’m very excited to see you taking an interest in playing with others.”

“Well, I feel like I have the time now,” Lona said, feeling a pang of grief.

Mr. Abraham patted her shoulder. “It’ll be fun. See you!”

Headed back to the table, Lona reflected on that last statement and wondered if her presence on the Band really could bring joy to the kids and Shelly. Only one way to find out, she mused as she rejoined her friends. 

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"I...might be interested in the D&D game," Clara said carefully, looking more to Lona than Sean. She was still treading carefully around her near-sister and wasn't sure if Lona would take this as more bonding or as pushing in on something that between them had just been hers up until now. "And Labyrinth, I don't know anything about it other than that David Bowie was in it. I can't act at all, but maybe I could help with something else? If nothing else, I could help herd the younger kids, if the elementary students do get involved."

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"Labyrinth...is that the one with the little girl, and the big guy with antlers or horns or whatever?" Cass wants to know.

Beth leaned towards her and said, "That was Pan's Labyrinth. They mean the one with the little dwarf guy and the 80's glam star and Jennifer Connelly?  Remember? The..."

"...muppet one!" Cass said, brightening. "How are you going to do that here? Are you going to have puppets on stage?"

Then she glanced for a second at Clara and shrugged. "I never played anything like D&D. Sure, I'll give it a try. Why not?"

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"I'd imagine they'd need some puppetry for the Firey's scene."  Jason said, glancing at Cassie, then at Charlie as he looked up from his reading.  "With them throwing their limbs and heads about the stage.  Perhaps for other scenes too.  I believe Charlie was intending a lot of the goblin roles to be played by the elementary school students, with the larger roles - pun intended - going to middle and high-schoolers."

Everyone bar Sean stared at Jason like he'd grown an extra head - and was tossing it around like a Firey.  Sean merely smiled - he remembered eleven year old Jason quietly singing the songs to himself while working on homework for a few weeks after watching Labyrinth one Sunday at Sean's place.  "I like the story." he'd said when Sean had called him on it at dinner.  "It's funny, but shows that choice has consequence, and depending on the world to be fair doesn't work."  A typical young Jason answer, delivered with such a sober expression in eyes too old for his young features that it had prompted Sean's mom to hug him for the first time.

"What?" he asked them with a faint raise of a brow.

"Never figured you for a Labyrinth fan."  Kyle said with a nervous smile.

"I have layers upon layers."  Jason replied mildly with an enigmatic smile as he turned his pale gaze back to his books.

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Cafeteria

"He's like an ogre," Sean commented in a very passable Shrekian brogue, though an octave or three higher, his grin widening for a moment. Labyrinth was good, though he had always preferred the Dark Crystal. He dipped his head towards Charlie in a token gesture of respect for his choice. "I didn't know they'd done a stage adaptation for Labyrinth."

"They haven't," Charlie admitted, with a slight bit of anxiety. Marissa had had a good idea, but it was going to be some extra work to pull it off.

"Ouch," Sean said in sympathy. "Got your work cut it for you then, adapting it, don't want it to be all Jareth and Sarah. I might be able to help you out with the 'Fiery' bits, at least, put something together than can be taken apart on stage, maybe using some fishing line..." Sean liked putting together models and figurines, using green stuff to modify them, then painting them, and he was decent enough at sewing. He loved Halloween and almost always made his own costume. "And hopefully, the drama club can pick up pieces for the goblin costumes cheap after Halloween. Or I can work lighting again, if you're short stagehands."

He wasn't sure about being on stage. He'd do it if Charlie was in a bind - like he'd done before - but auditioning for a part...

Sean chuckled - perhaps to some, it might have been construed more of a giggle - when he turned his attention to Beth, Cass, and Clara. "Pan's Labyrinth would be a very different production - definitely not lighthearted. Would need some spectacular costumes to work, though anything from Del Toro would. If you're interested in the D&D game, I'll send you a link to my gaming app - makes Character Creation and keeping track of things during the game much easier and I'll write up a synopsis of what's happened so far, if you like. It's not necessary, but it'll help with getting to know the other characters and the setting."

 

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Sara, much like Jason but for different reasons, was not a people person, and while she had opened up to the Fellowship and considered them friends (whatever that really meant to her), the sudden intrusion of Beth and Kyle into their midst irked her. Part of it was that they didn't have the shine and that secrets would have to be kept from them, they other was that she was jealous.

"Ive never seen the movie, Charlie, but if I can help I will." She said this out loud while her mind was stretching out and connecting to the Fellowship, a task made easier by the Shine. "How many performances do you usually do of these plays?"

<We're all connected now so we can talk among ourselves mind to mind without revealing things to people who wouldn't understand. Sean keep an eye on my nose in case it starts to bleed.>

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Clara blinked in surprise at the connection, then frowned at Sara's reminder of nosebleeds. She held out a hand for Lona under the table, the two girls linking their powers with the simple touch. Clara put a hand on Sara's arm, giving the girl a smile. <Here, this should make it easier. Jase, do you mind talking about what just happened in the hall?>

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<Looked at first like someone was interfering with my business>  Jason's mental 'voice' was crystalline clear and calm as he relayed what happened with the aid of images of the confrontation that were movie-like in their quality.  <Then I noticed an oddness in their eyes right about when Clara and Avalon showed up.>  The mental imagery stopped moving, highlighting the unfocused glare in Curtis's eyes.  <Fortunately, with their help I was able to slip away without having to get unpleasant.>

His meaning was obvious enough.

<It seems the Dark might be making moves, trying to test and provoke us.  In my case, my perceivable weakness is my temper.  Others here might be tested on their own frailties.>  His attention was still on his books as he 'spoke', but his tone was a warning one.  

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"I appreciate all your offers and I'll keep them in mind." Charlie said, slotting the different suggestions into different mental file folders for the grand drawer marked The Play. When some of the others indicated an interest in the D&D game, he gave Kyle an encouraging nod. "I agree. You'll enjoy it." The only issue he would have observed would have been if it put too much pressure on Sean as GM to handle the increased numbers, but Sean seemed to have no objections.

<High odds are the Dark's going to prod Sean's tormentors to be more aggressive. Aside from Courtney, who else should we watch out for?>

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Sara’s mental connection caused Lona’s right eye to blink in reaction but other than that, she didn’t show any sign of her discomfort. <I’m never gonna get used to this. Shit, did I think that aloud? Shit!>

<Chet and his minions. Cody. Half the football team,> Lona dutifully listed off mentally, even as she gave the potential players a smile -- including Clara.

“Don’t worry about joining the game,” she told them. “We’re a pretty laid back group and you aren’t the only newish ones, though--” Lona cut off and gave Cade an apologetic smile. In a softer tone, she said, “I guess I’m the only other newbie at the table, but seriously, these guys will make sure you have fun while you get the hang of the game. It seems like a lot but it’s actually not, and there are a couple of classes that are really easy to get the hang of. I’m playing a rogue, an assassin actually, and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it.”

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Cafeteria

On 10/25/2019 at 8:44 AM, Sara Hutchins said:

<We're all connected now so we can talk among ourselves mind to mind without revealing things to people who wouldn't understand. Sean keep an eye on my nose in case it starts to bleed.>

<Will do,> Sean affirmed while giving the mental impression of a thumbs up, glancing at Sara from the corner of his eyes. Having had a bit of extra practice with it during the trip to Helena, Sean wasn't quite as surprised by or awkward with the establishment of the telepathic network.

Despite trying to be more assertive and less embarrassed about his appearance and condition, Sean couldn't overcome the habits of years in less than a week, and at the mention of people disrupting Jase's 'business' and his own tormentors, he couldn't help but casually look around in a well practised manner for any or them. <Add half of the cheerleading team thanks to Courtney, and two or three others,> Sean added to Lona's list, including one teacher who was notoriously strict on the female students about adhering to the dress code and many suspected he looked at them more than school faculty should. <But hey, let's not just not consider my fan club. How 'bout the rest of you? Anyone you guys can think of that might try to mess with you, like, with the play or your music, Lona, or whatever else the rest of you hold dear?>

"You're welcome to join the game too, Sara," Sean offered the incredibly buff girl who was build like how any number of fantasy female barbarians and warriors should have been. "I might end up with big group for gaming, but I'll give everyone the opportunity to shine. And if it gets too unwieldy," Sean shrugged as he finished his muffin then open the top of his small carton of milk to contain all the detritus of his breakfast. "I'd might split the group and run two tables, with the help of a sub-DM, if someone is interested in the job. I'll make it work, and hopefully everyone will have fun."

 

 

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Cade smiled as their gaming group grew by at least two, and chuckled inwardly.  "I'll help too Charlie, maybe as a stage hand or something if you need it."   As the conversation moved beyond that, he was silent, Lona's comment made him think of Cora, but he nodded.  "It is fun, and even with so many people it still runs pretty smoothly."

<I'd second Chet and his crew, but for something that happened this morning.  Sitting in my jeep, when he walked by, I could have sworn I saw him give me the most hateful look I've been subjected to.  It was gone in an instant, but it was pretty unnatural.>

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On 10/23/2019 at 12:09 PM, Lilly Pryor said:

"Lemme change real quick and we can get our grub on." she said as she jogged into the locker room to change.

Lacy gave Lori a look complete with arms outstretched with hand upturned and Lori sighed and stopped folded her arms and waited for Lilly tapping her toe the whole time.

Lilly through on her clothes and  joined the (twin) cousins and the three girls went to the cafeteria  making small talk. Even Lori who was still a little miffed at Lilly joined in and by the time thy got to the school lunch room they were laughing and joking like nothing had ever been wrong.

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